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February 1949


Author Affiliations


From the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Arch NeurPsych. 1949;61(2):183-187. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1949.02310080087007

DESPITE its simplicity and ease of performance, the optokinetic test is not widely used in neuro-ophthalmologic examinations, and there appears to be limited appreciation of its significance in neurologic disease. This is due, no doubt, to an insufficiency of clinical data. Accordingly, it is the purpose of the present paper to record and analyze the results obtained with the optokinetic test in a group of patients with neurologic disease.

The optokinetic response is elicited by continuously moving the visual field, or the central portion of it, in one direction. The eyes follow the objects of fixation to the limit of the field or to the limit of comfortable conjugate gaze and then make a quick corrective movement in the opposite direction. The repetition of this cycle is known as optokinetic nystagmus. It is readily and regularly elicited in all normal persons and cannot be inhibited voluntarily.

Optokinetic testing was introduced

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